1.6 AND ALL THAT
It now seems likely that the NCAA basketball championships will be held without Princeton, the NCAA fencing championships without Columbia, the NCAA hockey championships without Cornell and the NCAA swimming championships without Yale. Which is a pity since, to varying degrees, all four teams would have had good shots at the titles. Princeton is the fifth-ranked basketball team in the country; Columbia, the 1965 NCAA fencing champion, has already beaten last year's winner, NYU; Cornell has one of the two best hockey teams in the East; and the Yale swimmers would be a contender even if they didn't include Don Schollander.
As it was last year, the reason for the Ivies' absence is the unwillingness of the presidents of the league's schools to come to terms with the NCAA rule which requires that, to be eligible for a championship, student-athletes 1) show promise of doing 1.6 (or C—) work upon admission and 2) actually do 1.6 work.
The Ivy League, and a number of other schools, are against the 1.6 rule because they claim it violates a school's autonomy: its right to determine its admissions policy and eligibility requirements. In line with what we said a year ago (SI, March 21), this principle or point of honor seems to us to be so lofty or noble as to be faintly ludicrous—indeed, more becoming Burt L. Standish's version of the Ivy League—especially since the rule in no way dictates who a school may or may not admit, but merely states, with great liberality, who may not compete.
At the NCAA convention in Houston earlier this month, the ECAC, to which the Ivy League belongs, sought to eliminate the 1.6 rule, but was outvoted 153-113. However, only 83 of the 146 eligible ECAC members were represented. Next year the NCAA will meet in New York, where, presumably, more ECAC representatives will find it convenient to attend, and the rule may then be reinterpreted or repealed.
However, this is of little comfort to those now competing in basketball for Princeton, hockey for Cornell, fencing for Columbia and swimming for Yale. The Ivy League presidents are likely to be around for some time, but many of these athletes won't. To pose just one question: Is it meet that Schollander, who won four gold medals for his country in the Tokyo Olympics, cannot win just one NCAA medal for Yale?
It's not that Steve Spurrier doesn't have room for another trophy alongside the Heisman, the Washington Touchdown Club award, the Outstanding Florida Sports Personality award, the Nashville Banner Southeastern Conference Most Valuable Player award and the Birmingham Quarterback Club Southeastern Back of the Year award. It's just that, marvelous as he may be, Spurrier can't be in two places at the same time.
Last Saturday the Atlanta Touchdown Club wanted to give him the Southeast Back of the Year award, but that night Spurrier had to be in Daytona Beach, Fla. to accept a trophy as Florida's Outstanding Football Player.
So the Atlanta Touchdown Club presented the Southeast Back of the Year award to Ray Perkins of Alabama. Under the circumstances, we guess it's O.K. that Perkins is a split end.
NO GIN FOR THE MEN OF THE GEM
At first glance, it would seem that Sid Gillman, the general manager and head coach of the San Diego Chargers, would be of as much help in readying Columbia, the 1958 America's Cup winner, for this summer's cup trials as, say, Soupy Sales. "I've never been on a yacht," says Gillman, "let alone know anything about competitive sailing."
Nonetheless, Thomas Patrick Dougan, an Upjohn executive who is the new owner of Columbia, asked Gillman to address his crew. "I talked about the basic organization that is required for any project to be successful, whether it is winning a football game or a yacht race," says Gillman in his most coachly manner. "We went over what it takes to get a football team ready and arrived at a conclusion that there was a similar correlation with a yachting crew of such numbers. Discipline is the most integral factor for readiness, whether it be on the field or on the water. Every man in that crew, just as every man on a football team, has a job for which he is responsible. He must prepare himself to do it."
Says Dougan: "Sid made various suggestions to each crewman, based on the need of the position on the boat rather than the shape or the size of the person."
Adds Gillman: "I also told them to eliminate the martini time at the yacht club and substitute food supplements."
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
It was no surprise to hear that Pro Golfers Jock Hutchison, 52, Fred Haas, 51, Chick Harbert, 52, and Henry Williams, 50, are half of four father-and-son combinations teeing up in a Florida golf tournament this week. After all, each is married and has children. The shock came in learning that they are the sons. The tournament is the PGA seniors championship, and Jock Hutchison Sr., 82, Fred Haas Sr., 75, Pop Harbert, 78, and Henry Williams Sr., 73, are playing right along with their kids. All of which means that golf is either an incurable disease or a blessed tonic for long life.
SILENT SPRING RETURNS
Until recently Joe Foss, 51, the robust, 6-foot World War II flying ace, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, ex-governor of South Dakota, first commissioner of the American Football League and renowned hunter, had never heard of Rachel Carson or her book, The Silent Spring, Now Foss is an ardent disciple of the late author's cause.
Last October, following an alarming loss of weight and strength, Foss checked into the Mayo Clinic. But two lengthy stays were of no benefit. "I had been in superb condition," Foss recalls. "I weighed 188 and ran two miles and did 120 push-ups every day. I figured I was tough enough to beat anything, but there I was slowly dying from something the doctors couldn't find."
Foss's weight had dropped to 154 and he could no longer walk when a lab report turned up large quantities of arsenic in his system. Evidently somebody was trying to poison him. But, as Foss says, "Now that I was out of pro football I couldn't think of anybody mad enough to kill me."
In mid-December the case was dramatically solved. The killer was found on a cutting-room floor—literally. Before he went to the clinic Foss had filmed 12 episodes of a TV series called The Outdoorsman, in Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota. By examining unused film, it was discovered that at the end of each take he would stick a blade of grass or a weed stalk in his mouth and chew on it. Foss had been poisoned by chemical compounds used for spraying fields.
"I'll never chew a blade of grass, or eat an apple off a tree or a tomato from a vine," Foss vows. "Whatever fruit, vegetable or plant that goes into my mouth will be washed, soaked and scrubbed. And that should be a rule for everyone. Death is close by. Closer than any of us realize, and I don't mean the bomb or the Chinese Reds or even bacterial warfare."
Perhaps the most remarkable boat displayed at the New York National Boat Show this year was a hydrofoil called the Forte, which is the first consumer product to be jointly manufactured by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The Forte's 28-foot aluminum hull and stainless-steel foils are made in Russia; the rest of her is American, including either a Crusader (190 hp) or Chrysler (150 hp) engine.
The Forte is being sold here for about $10,000 by the Satra (for Soviet-American trade) Corporation of New York. According to Ara Oztemel, Satra's president, it took a year to persuade the Russians to have her refitted and powered with U.S. equipment.
"They thought we might cheapen it up," says Oztemel, who is so optimistic about the market for the boat that he has imported 50, and more than 10 have been sold to date. But what puts a visionary gleam in Oztemel's eye is what the Forte might lead to. "We're going to try to sell Russia cabin cruisers," he says. "They've never caught on to overnight pleasure trips. Not only that, we might interest them in golf. The area around the Black Sea is ideal for golf courses. And after that, there's bowling. Now that we've bought their hydrofoil, maybe we can sell them on bowling."
The Russians are 5 to 1 to put a man on the moon between July 1 and the end of the year. The source for this quotation is Joe Coral, a London bookmaker, who customarily deals with such mundane activities as the Epsom Derby. Coral has posted odds for six-month periods beginning this month and concluding Dec. 31, 1975, which reflect his belief that Russia has the early foot in this particular race. An abbreviated list of Coral's offerings:
IN THE BAG
Chemical repellents, dyes, bubble curtains, electric shocks and a punch in the nose have all been recommended, at one time or another, as means of safeguarding swimmers from sharks. Alas, they haven't always worked. Now Dr. Albert L. Tester of the University of Hawaii, Dr. C. Scott Johnson of the Naval Marine Biology Laboratory at Point Mugu, Calif. and Dr. Perry Gilbert of Cornell have come up with the best all-round protection yet—a plastic bag. Not a dry cleaner's plastic bag, but a round, opaque, black nylon bag, 27 inches in diameter, six feet long, equipped with a plastic outer coat and three yellow flotation collars.
The bag comes as a lightweight package, like a life jacket, and is shaken out before use. When immersed, it is filled to a point where the water level inside is about two inches above the water level outside. This makes the bag stable and prevents folds or bulges, on which a shark could inadvertently catch a tooth or tear with a fin or tail. Moreover, the bag prevents a wounded man's blood from spreading and attracting sharks, and in cold water provides insulation, for body heat will increase and maintain the water temperature within the bag.
The bags were tested with gray, black-tipped and white-tipped sharks in the Pacific and with tiger sharks near Bimini in the Atlantic. At Eniwetok a graduate student named Charles Daniels tried out the bag by scattering dead fish both inside and out. Dr. Tester said he observed 20 to 30 sharks approach the bag and go into an eating frenzy. Only once did a shark rush the bag, but it turned away when its nose got within six inches.
"We found both captive and free sharks were unmotivated by food and tended to avoid the bag," Dr. Tester says. "The only contact came when they lost control and made a fin contact."
The bags are being distributed to U.S. Navy personnel serving in shark-infested waters, but the Navy will not mass-produce them until "they are proved during authentic emergency conditions." As far as Dr. Tester is concerned, the supreme test will be made in the presence of the great white shark, reputedly the worst man-eater of all. "Then," he says, "we will really know how perfect a protection the bag is."
As the old saying goes, a yacht is a hole in the water surrounded by wood into which money is poured. But suppose, in addition to boat, maintenance, insurance, hauling, mooring, etc., a yachtsman had to pay for water. Well, at the bar of the New York National Boat Show a glass of water cost 15¢.
THEY SAID IT
•Don Kennedy, St. Peter's College basketball coach, on Harry Laurie, his star 6'1" rebounder: "He doesn't really get up that high, but he has the tallest fingers in the world."
•Ed Hurley, Minneapolis heavyweight, before his bout with 6'8" Jim Beattie, which he lost: "It should be a hell of a fight. I wish I could watch it."